DA parliamentary leader John Steenhuisen has beaten Makashule Gana to be elected as the interim leader of the party.
In a meeting attended by over 100 delegates on Sunday, Steenhusien was voted to lead the party until April 2020, while Western Cape MEC for Agriculture Ivan Meyer will take over as the interim federal chairperson, replacing Athol Trollip.
Both Trollip and Maimane resigned in October after Helen Zille was voted to be the DA federal council chairperson.
Steenhuisen said he was “humbled” to have been elected as the leader and pledged his commitment to the party.
“I will commit every ounce of my fibre and my being and my energy to restoring our party back on to the path of victory,” he said at a press briefing held at Nkululeko House following his election.
The newly appointed leader slammed rumours that the DA was faced with an ideological crisis and he assured South Africans that he would be bringing back stability to the party.
“I have no doubt as well that a clear message must be sent today that the DA is not in a fight over an ideology or a fight for power,” he reiterated.
He said that race remained a sensitive issue in the country and the party would focus on poverty and inequality.
“We are in a fight against the tide of poverty which has engulfed the lives of so many South African men, women and children and which remains the single biggest enemy in our country,” he said.
Meanwhile, Meyer said he would support Steenhuisen in his mission to rebuild the party.
“Today we have a new pilot in John Steenhuisen, we are taking off, put on your safety belt. The ANC is grounded, the DA has taken off. The next step and the next stop is to land safely at the DA conference which will take place in April next year,” according to Meyer.